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Department of Geriatrics

Ghent University Hospital

Services Offered

Patient tailored treatment is one of the major objectives of geriatric medicine. The Department of Geriatrics of the Ghent University Hospital has developed a research unit concerned with tailored care in frail older persons.

Our research unit studies assessment and management of pain and other discomfort and spiritual concerns of frail older persons. Other topics of interest are patient-centered ACP conversations; inter-professional collaboration and ethical climate as means to improve end of life decision-making in frail persons.


Decisions to limit therapies or TLDs (treatment limitation decisions) in older persons are taken too little and too late, leading to too aggressive care at the end-of-life. Focusing on life-prolongation and aggressive treatments may be not beneficial and even harmful for patients and their families who wish to prepare for death and dying. SPICT may help clinicians to overcome prognostic paralysis.

By means of a multicenter prospective observational study (2017-2020) in older persons hospitalized in 4 hospitals we will address following research questions:
1. ‘Is SPICT an accurate tool to identify the older person with poor prospects (aiming at a very high sensitivity and a moderate to high specificity to predict 12 months mortality)?
2. ’Is SPICT needed in order to improve TLD decision-making? Is the association between TLD and SPICT score different in geriatric wards compared to older persons in non-geriatric wards?’ .

Other information

This project is supported by Fund Marie-Thérèse De Lava, King Baudouin Foundation, Belgium.


Pro-Spinoza, University of Antwerp

Pro-Spinoza is a Belgian research project supporting the implementation of the Care Pathway for Primary Palliative Care (CPPPC).

The project is performed by the Research Group Palliative Care of the University of Antwerp. Along this project, it is investigated how the Care Pathway is implemented in 5 Belgian regions, which starts by identification of palliative care patients with the surprise question and/or the SPICT. Furthermore, it will be investigated whether this Care Pathway can help to improve the quality of delivered palliative care.

On the English part of this website you will only find a summary of our work, but in the Dutch and the French parts of the website, you can find information about the “pro-Spinoza” project, both the clinically related information, like the handbook of palliative care, the care pathway algorithm and the care file, and the information related to the scientific evaluation of the project.

This project is financed by the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance of the federal government of Belgium.

Contact:  Bert Leysen,Huisarts-in-opleiding, Doctorandus